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A movement of the 1920s that marked the first period of intense activity by African-Americans in the fields of literature, visual art and music. The center of this movement was the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. The Great Migration.

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A movement of the 1920s that marked the first period of intense activity by African-Americans in the fields of literature, visual art and music. The center of this movement was the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

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The Great Migration

During World War I and the 1920’s, hundreds of thousands of African Americans

left the south and went north to escape segregation, find economic opportunity,

and build a better life.

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The Writers

Zora Neale Hurston:

Jump at the Sun

Zora Neale Hurston

Claude McKay

In How It Feels to Be Colored Me (1928) Zora says “I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to that sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

In If We Must Die, McKay urges African Americans to "face the murderous, cowardly pack" and to "nobly die" while "fighting back."

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Harlem

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up

      like a raisin in the sun?

      Or fester like a sore—

      And then run?

      Does it stink like rotten meat?

      Or crust and sugar over—

      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags

      like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes reads I, Too, Sing America

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The Musicians and Singers

Louis Armstrong

Bessie Smith

Duke Ellington

Backwater Blues

HeebieJeebies

It Don't Mean A Thing

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The Artists

Palmer Hayden

Aaron Douglas

Jacob Lawrence

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Don’t Forget Us

Josephine Baker

Dancer/Singer

Paul Robeson

Actor